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Review Godzilla Minus One a.k.a. Gojira -1.0 (2023): Not the masterpiece that was promised but I loved it!

genre: kaiju, action, adventure, drama

Not going to lie. I was waiting for this film finally to be available to me since I missed the cinema release. Or honestly, I am not really paying attention to cinema releases in general since I do think that most have not been worth it to watch in the cinema. By accident, I have overlooked this since if there ever were a title I really wanted to watch it's this one. So has it been worth the wait?

Well, yes, it certainly has. I was excited from beginning to end. But, I do have to say that Godzilla Minus One was a very different film than I had expected. Sure, I was aware that this film would be more like the original and Shin Godzilla, but with a fresher perspective. And while overall, this does feel like a fresh approach compared to recent Hollywood remakes, I do think that the film plays it too serious and safe. Before I get roasted for being a simpleton, let me make my point. Maybe I am not the purist of Godzilla fans, but I am a kaiju fan through and though. Men in suits trashing miniature buildings and vehicles never gets old to me. But of course I also loved all the improvements that came over the years. Unlike the purists, I embrace the cheesiness and campiness. To me, that is what gives these monster flicks their charm. I get that it's a niche genre and in order to make it appeal worldwide a serious approach was demanded. And with current climate issues and debates about these issues, this film has a place. But it kind of takes the fun factor away. I would opt for chaos and destruction over human drama any day.

That being said, Godzilla Minus One did manage to suck me in to the human story and the drama behind it. The film does a good job of addressing life in post-war Japan without being too preachy. Now, that doesn't mean the film is devoid of melodrama. Still, it's immensely effective. I think this one does a better job of showing the impact and devastation of the war and the atomic bombs were dropped without even mentioning these facts. A lot of it is implied, but also can have double meanings. Like for example. At one point, the soldiers salute. This could mean two or even three things. Since this would be spoilers, I am not going into it. Still, the effect of this salute was immensely profound. To be fair, it caught me off guard. It's this moment that made me realize that this was the Godzilla film, Japan needed. It's like this film symbolizes the trauma they had to endure all this time and only now they managed to overcome it. Godzilla isn't evil, but like natural disasters is an almost unstoppable force of destruction. How can one fight it? With optimism and hope! 

Godzilla Minus One is intended to inspire the viewers. And at the same time give us that monster goodness one expects from films like these. In this regard they succeeded and beyond. Now, let us see what the future brings, since I want to be inspired and be in awe of the greatness that is Godzilla.  

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